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USD 1.35 billion Needed to Help Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and Host Countries

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Many Venezuelans traveling through the continent do so by foot. Caminantes, or walkers, trek along major highways and through difficult terrain. Many make this journey with just a light jacket, rubber flip flops and a small backpack with the most essential items they manage to carry. © Muse Mohammed/IOM

Geneva, 13 November – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) will today launch a USD 1.35 billion regional plan to respond to the increasing humanitarian needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the communities hosting them.

As of early November 2019, there were approximately 4.6 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela around the world. Nearly 80 per cent are in Latin American and Caribbean countries - with no prospect for return in the short to medium term. If current trends continue, 6.5 million Venezuelans could be outside the country by the end of 2020.

The 2020 Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) being launched in the Colombian capital, Bogotá, is a coordination and a fundraising tool established and implemented by 137 organizations. These are working across the region, aiming to reach almost four million people - including Venezuelan refugees and migrants and host communities - in 17 countries.

The 2020 RMRP is the result of a wide-ranging field-driven consultation process involving host governments, civil society and faith-based organizations, local communities and donors, as well as refugees and migrants themselves.

The plan includes actions in nine key sectors: health; education; food security; integration; protection; nutrition; shelter; relief items and humanitarian transport; and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). In addition to the emergency response, the 2020 RMRP puts a strong focus on ensuring the social and economic inclusion of refugees and migrants.

“Only through a coordinated and harmonized approach will it be possible to effectively address the large-scale needs, which continue to increase and evolve as the current crisis deepens,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

“To this end, the RMRP appeal for 2020 is one of the key instruments to mobilize resource for more collective and concerted action.”

“Despite many efforts and other initiatives, the dimension of the problem is greater than the current response capacity, so it is necessary that the international community doubles these efforts and contributions to help the countries and international organizations responding to the crisis,” Stein said. “More support to governments is needed, with a focus on development concerns in addition to immediate humanitarian needs.”

The RMRP 2020 is the product of the Regional Interagency Coordination Platform, the coordination mechanism for the response to the Venezuelan refugee and migrant crisis, is co-led by UNHCR and IOM and involving a wide range of UN, NGO and civil society organizations.

The RMRP 2020 plan will be available at 16:00 Bogotá time (22:00 CET) at the portal:

For more information contact:

In Geneva:

Paul Dillon, IOM ( +41 79 636 9874

Liz Throssell, UNHCR ( +41 79 3377591

In Buenos Aires:

Juliana Quintero, IOM ( +54 1132488134)

In Panama:

William Spindler, UNHCR ( +507 63827815

Olga Sarrado, UNHCR ( +507 6640 0185

For background information please consult the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform website.